Undefeated Tritons fall on penalty kicks

Peter Mallett, 
Staff Writer

Esquimalt Tritons were edged by Edmonton Warriors on penalty kicks in the final game of the Men’s Western Regional Soccer Championship on Aug. 19. 

“This was a very young and talented team we brought to Edmonton, and we gained respect and admiration from our opponents because of our solid performances throughout the competition,” said Petty Officer First Class  (PO1) Carlos Cea.

PO1 Cea assumed player-coaching duties of the Tritons for their regular skipper Chief Petty Officer Second Class (CPO2) Pat Robbins, who could not attend due to work commitments at the Patrol Vessel Sea Training Division Pacific.

PO1 Cea said the Tritons quickly established themselves as a ‘top dog’ at the tournament right from the opening kickoff.

The Tritons were undefeated over five matches heading into the championship match against tournament hosts. The competition began on Aug. 15 and served as a qualifier for next month’s CAF Championship in Kingston, Ont., from Sept 26 to 30. After ending regulation time in deadlock at one goal apiece, the Tritons fell to Edmonton on penalty kicks and failed to qualify for the CAF nationals.

Corporal (Cpl) Justin Harris had opened the scoring for Esquimalt in the second half before Edmonton equalized from the penalty spot. A late game clearance by Sailor Third Class (S3) Liam Harrington prevented Edmonton from a regulation-time game-winner and sent the match into extra time.

The Tritons began to play on Aug. 15 with a penalty kick victory over Edmonton. That was followed by a 3-1 win over 19 Wing Comox, with goals coming from S3 Kellar Livingston, S3 Matt Thompson, and S3 Josh Charles. In their third game on Aug. 16, Esquimalt shut out 17 Wing Winnipeg with a 2-0 win on an own goal and another from S3 Livingston. CFB Moose Jaw was forced to forfeit the final game of the opening round on Aug. 17 due to injuries.

One day later, Esquimalt defeated the same Moose Jaw side in the semi-finals, with S3 Thompson and S3 Mark Cortrell scoring goals in a 2-1 victory.

Even though the Tritons failed to qualify for the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) finals tournament, CPO2 Robbins said he could not be more proud of his team.

“I truly believe the respect the other players displayed to my team in Edmonton speaks to their character and the program we are running in Esquimalt,” CPO2 Robbins said.

Tritons central defenders S3 Peter Iporoo, S3 Cortrell, and S3 Harrington received the ‘Man of the Match MVP’ awards and were selected by CFB Edmonton to participate with their team in the CAF finals.

Also travelling to Edmonton from the Base were ten players taking part in a Western Region Women’s Selection Camp. Six female players from Esquimalt were selected to represent the Canada West Women’s Soccer Team in this year’s CAF finals, held concurrently in Kingston.

The players selected are:

  • Master Corporal Holly Dronyk from Regional Cadet Support Unit (Pacific)
  • Master Sailor Kailyn Swinton from Naval Fleet School (Pacific)
  • Master Sailor Veronica Leslie and Aviator Ashley Lelievere from HMCS Ottawa
  • Sailor First Class Stephanie Virbet from HMCS Malahat
  • Sailor First Class Valerie Leclair from Maritime Forces Pacific HQ

Lieutenant (Navy) Courtney Looye-Pohoney from the Regional Cadet Support Unit (Pacific) received the ‘Most Improved Player’ recognition at the selection camp and was selected for the team’s standby list.

(Left) Sailor Third Class Matthew Thomson of the Esquimalt Tritons goes up for a header against two Edmonton players during Canada West Regional Soccer action in Edmonton. Credit: Lieutenant (Navy) Courtney Looye-Pohoney.

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